Thursday, August 4, 2011

Astrology is Not New Age...Part Two

Mercury in veil-lifting Virgo has just stationed retrograde opposite Neptune Rx and Chiron Rx conjunct in veil-dropping Pisces, and I'm digging up a little 'deconstructing the New Age' review on this blog.

In light of a few misinformed comments and e-mails I've received in the last little while, I'd like to make this crystal clear: Astrology is not New Age, and I find the co-opting of astrology by the New Age movement and its adherents problematic.

I've written a post on this exact subject in the past, and I've reiterated it on the blog repeatedly. This is the tricky part about writing a blog. A lot of people who comment or e-mail me are not really acquainted with my writing or perspective. A lot of times, they're reading a single post and commenting on that.

From a previous post:

"Unfortunately, astrology has come to be understood as synonymous with New Age ideology in the minds of many people, which includes the 2012 furor. A lot of people are actually embarrassed to admit they are interested in astrology due to the associations with New Age.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Astrology is not New Age. Astrology is not a belief system. It's a symbolic language describing cycles and themes that we can use as a navigational tool. That's not all it is, but that's it in a nutshell. If it works for you, use it. If it doesn't, don't. I really don't mind. But please know that astrology is alive and well outside the confines of the New Age."

A common criticism I receive here is: How can you be opposed to New Age? Astrology is inherently New Age.

No, actually, it isn't. The roots of astrology are ancient. They go back at least 4,000 years. The roots of the New Age movement go back less than 200 years. The New Age movement has co-opted astrology and many other ancient traditions, but none of these traditions is New Age.

Here's a previous post on that subject: Astrology is Not New Age from April 9, 2009.

Another criticism I've received is that the foundational idea of the "New Age" itself (related to the Aquarian Age) comes from the precession of the equinoxes and this proves astrology is New Age. Actually, no. This proves only that astrology has been adopted by New Age adherents to promote New Age ideology, including what they believe the Aquarian Age/"New Age" means. The precession of the equinoxes is not New Age. It's a physical shift of the position of the Sun at the time of March equinox from the physical constellation Pisces to the physical constellation Aquarius.

Here's a previous post on that: The Precession of the Equinoxes, Shifting Astrological Eras and '2012' from March 9, 2011.

Yet another common criticism I receive, generally from people of the soft New Age persuasion (ie. those who would not necessarily wear their New Age status on their sleeves or who downplay their adherence to its ideology), is that I can't possibly be so black and white in my rejection of New Age.

I can and am, actually. I find the energy and ideology of the New Age poisonous, manipulative, insidious, fatally flawed, and deeply insulting. There are no shades of gray.

Feel free to create your own reality, manifest your abundance, and achieve blissful enlightenment under the tutelage of your favourite guru or Ascended Master. Just do it over there, away from me.

Astrology requires no specific belief system to practise or utilize. Astrology can be a belief system, but it isn't for me. As astrologer Antero Alli says, "I don't believe in astrology. I use it because it works." I practise astrology as a navigational tool - something that provides valuable insight to help me and others get through the territory.

Here's a previous post on that: Astrology: No Specific Belief System Required! from April 18, 2009.

This is a phenomenon I don't completely understand, but it happens with this blog a lot, and I see the dynamic as a combination of Pisces/Neptune and Scorpio/Pluto.

1. People of a New Age persuasion are attracted to this blog for whatever reason - probably because they have never seen New Age ideology refuted or deconstructed before and are intrigued.
2. They read only what they agree with or what seems to support their own views and unvoiced critiques of the New Age movement.
3. They discard or overlook the rest, including my pointed critiques of the entire ideology/paradigm.
4. They continue reading the blog, assuming I am aligned with their belief system and seeing only what supports this view.
5. Eventually I write something that lets them know in no uncertain terms that no, in fact, I am not aligned with New Age beliefs in any way. (ie. I'm really not kidding about this.)
6. They get angry and leave comments or send e-mails that try to critique my point-of-view (with arguments that don't actually get the job done).

It's Neptunian projection related to what I'm about (ie. that we're on the same page), which I know the internet is rife with, and then Pluto rips that projection a new one, puncturing the Neptunian illusion and resulting in disillusionment and anger.

One recent example of this phenomenon was my article on the summer solstice Cardinal Grand Cross and triple eclipse season being plagiarized by the newsletter of a New Age ascension-promoting channeller. The people involved were mystified as to why I, a New Age critic, would object to my words and work being folded into their New Age newsletter. Trying to get New Age adherents who believe that everything comes from the non-physical to be passed around hippie "free intellectual love" style to understand the concepts of plagiarism and copyrighted intellectual property was a fun, fun exercise, let me tell you.

Posts on that here and here.

It's actually fairly mind-boggling how often this happens, and each time it's like stepping into the Twilight Zone.

The arguments and critcisms always go down in the same way, all New Age 101 Handbook stuff. They follow the pattern, and I've heard it a hundred times before. The problem is that I don't want to direct my energy to refuting this stuff on constant replay. If I've gone over something already on the blog, I generally won't devote my time and energy to repeating myself. I'm making an exception here because this has happened so often in the past little while, and I'm hoping I can just direct people to this post for all their educational needs from now on.

I guess when your prevailing belief system (New Age) focuses on everyone thinking the same way ("oneness") and dulls the discernment skills that would make those differentiations, it can come as quite a shock to realize that we don't.


Jo said...

Great points you made here. I think you'd be interested in reading Chris Brennan's post on the movement towards associating astrology with 2012 ( they want to make 2012 the "year of astrology" because of all that mayan calendar, end-of-the-world hooplah )

Anyway, just thought I'd give you a heads up if you haven't already seen the post.

Best :)

freeforall said...

LOL! I love it Willow! Straight-talk. I don't believe I've laughed so much in a long time.

What really gets me are the "astrologers" who confuse/conflate astrology and New Age. They've seriously messed up the public's view of astrology (e.g., claiming that when you're "enlightened" you have "transcended" your chart. Right! LOL! (Just wait until they have a kickass major Pluto transit.)

Awesome article as usual!

Anonymous said...

I'm remembering the late 60's, early 70's and thinking that while I was running across a few very adept people, that many of these "new-agers" (can't remember when that term came along) were involved with pyramid schemes and had power/control issues and were co-opting and repackaging old mystery school knowledge, which I found appalling (I was a teenager).

Melissa said...

Wikipedia can sometimes offer decent historical information.

New Age Beliefs/2012 (from Wikipedia, edited)

“Many assertions about the year 2012 form part of a non-codified collection of New Age beliefs about ancient Maya wisdom and spirituality. [35][36] Archaeo-astronomer Anthony Aveni says that while the idea of "balancing the cosmos" was prominent in ancient Maya literature, the 2012 phenomenon does not draw from those traditions. Instead, it is bound up with American concepts such as the New Age movement, millenarianism, and the belief in secret knowledge from distant times and places. [37]

Established themes found in 2012 literature include "suspicion towards mainstream Western culture," the idea of spiritual evolution, and the possibility of leading the world into the New Age by individual example or by a group's joined consciousness. The general intent of this literature is not to warn of impending doom but "to foster counter-cultural sympathies and eventually socio-political and 'spiritual' activism".[2] Aveni, who has studied New Age and SETI communities, describes 2012 narratives as the product of a "disconnected" society: "Unable to find spiritual answers to life's big questions within ourselves, we turn outward to imagined entities that lie far off in space or time—entities that just might be in possession of superior knowledge."[38]”

Case in Point

I was traveling home from California and had the opportunity to sit next to film production people and we
began talking about projects that they were working on. I asked why anyone in the industry had not tackled the 2012 theme. Surprisingly,or not, all but one of them had not heard about 2012. So we began talking about various video presentations and information that were out at that time. The plane lands. About one and a half years later, the movie “2012” hits the screens. It was directed of course by the ultimate world destroyer, Roland Emmerich.

Willow said...

Yeah, Anthony Aveni is writing from a stance fairly sympathetic to New Age. I skimmed that link from Chris Brennan, and he is, also.

I find that New Age is part of a spiritual arm of fascism and a mind/spiritual control mechanism designed to bring about a future I don't want to take part in, so I don't find it nearly as innocuous.

Anonymous said...


the world is obviously heading towards a situation where there's going to be large patches of no-man's lands where only the most well-armed bad asses can survive punctuated by fortified commune type arrangements administered by earth priestesses. I would totally vote for you as an earth priest administratix if you lived around here and this type of post is why.

don't let the new age trolls get on your nerves. "haters gonna hate", as the saying goes

Willow said...

HA! Oh, Anon 11:18. Let's rock our very own Oasis on the Devastated Deathscape.

Give me a sec to start channelling my inner Tank Girl...

kendra said...

Willow ~ while I've never commented on your site, I have been reading you consistently since I first got "caught in the web". Just want to assuse you there is a silent majority out here that appreciate every post you share!!

Thank you for sharing!!!